Norman could be Jags' right guard rest of the way

November, 10, 2008
11/10/08
5:58
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

Since losing starting guard Vince Manuwai and Maurice Williams to injuries in the season opener, the Jaguars have started Uche Nwaneri at left guard and Milford Brown and Tutan Reyes at right guard.

In Sunday's win in Detroit, they used their fourth different right guard. Dennis Norman, who's started the first six games at center while the team waited for Brad Meester to return from a biceps injury, replaced Reyes.

And Monday afternoon, Jack Del Rio made it sound as if the team could stick with the current line configuration.

"Anytime you're running and throwing the ball that means that your line has to be doing a good job," he told Jacksonville reporters. "We want to build on what we did yesterday with that group, and I thought it was as good a performance as we've had a while with our offensive line, so glad to see that.

"Dennis Norman got to start at right guard and did a nice job for us. Uche (Nwaneri) continues to improve. Khalif (Barnes) and Tony (Pashos) have been solid and Brad, it looks like conditioning and the game speed and all that that he's had the last few weeks has helped. So it was a better effort."

Can the group maintain that effort or was it largely a result of working against a defense that is part of an 0-9 team? We'll find out Sunday.

Del Rio also praised the play of Daryl Smith at middle linebacker, giving Smith the defensive game ball. Smith shifted inside to play for Mike Peterson who was deactivated after butting heads with Del Rio last week and being sent home Wednesday and Thursday.

That may not be the end of the conflict, as Del Rio indicated Smith might stay in the spot.

"There is some consideration for that if we feel like [Smith] is strong there and we're strong there," Del Rio said. "We'll give that consideration."

Asked multiple times about Peterson's role going forward, Del Rio dodged the questions by indicating he was talking about the team.

"It's not about any one guy," he said.

Before that, of course, he had spoken about 10 other players by name.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

AFC SOUTH SCOREBOARD